Johanson received the award, which comes with a $25,000 cash prize, during a special reception at Equinox Gallery in Vancouver on May 9.
The Joseph Plaskett Award—founded by Canadian painter Joseph Plaskett—is designed to support a Canadian MFA student or recent graduate to travel and paint in Europe.
Johanson completed his MFA in painting at Concordia University in 2013. In addition to having an abstract painting practice, he has worked collaboratively with a group called the Lions, which also includes artists Matthew Brown, Tasha Brotherton, Barry Doupe, and James Whitman.
Johanson was also a semi-finalist for the RBC Painting Competition in 2008.
Using his award funds, Johanson intends to base himself in Berlin while also taking time to visit the museums in Paris.
This year’s Plaskett jury consisted of Winnipeg-based artists Mark Neufeld, Eleanor Bond and Paul Butler.
Coinciding with this year’s award ceremony was the opening of an exhibition titled “Ten Years of the Plaskett” at Equinox Gallery. Curated by Vancouver artist Landon Mackenzie, the show includes paintings by Joseph Plaskett himself and all 10 former Plaskett Award winners: Julie Trudel (2013), Phil Delisle (2012), Jessica Groome (2011), Megan Hepburn (2010), Vitaly Medvedovsky (2009), Nam Duc Nguyen (2008), Todd Tremeer (2007), Ehryn Torrell (2006), Jennifer Lefort (2005) and Mark Neufeld (2004).
The Plaskett Award is co-administered by the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and Johanson’s win will be also announced during the 135th Annual General Assembly of the RCA to be held in Edmonton on May 17.